#1
Ok, were a blues, r&b, and classic rock band, we have a guitar(me), Bass, Drums, and Keyboard. Everybody has an amp except for the keyboard player, he goes through our PA, and the drummer has an acoustic set. We play tight, but when we listen to a recording, we don't sound very tight. Is there a sort of stragety of where to place the amps and PA?
#2
When you say you 'play tight' but don't sound together on the recording, what do you mean?
Are you recording in a different way (instrument by instrument), or is it that you can't hear one another when you play? I can more-or-less promise you that, if you're recording your band playing live, and you don't sound together when it's played back, the problem's in the playing, not the recording.

In general, when you're playing live, keep the PA forward of the band (especially any microphones), bass amp near the drums, balance the instruments on each side of the drumkit (so one amp on each side). If you're recording, you want the amps as far away from one another as your recording space is capable of, to minimise the spill into the other mikes. Trial and error is needed to place the amps in the best place in the room for recording, as well.
#3
we record with an old tapedeck. When I say tight, I mean that if the drummer decides to make the pace faster or slower midsong(He does that on purpose during early morning practices to screw with us lol), we'll follow it just fine. When we record, it's as if you can hear every instrument in the mix, and it just doesn't sound right to me. Ive been hitting some local band gigs around us to figure things out, but nothing really.

None of us really have any stacks or anything, but it can get loud. we practice today, so i'll try to see if lowering volumes can help.
#4
When I say tight, I mean that if the drummer decides to make the pace faster or slower midsong(He does that on purpose during early morning practices to screw with us lol), we'll follow it just fine. When we record, it's as if you can hear every instrument in the mix, and it just doesn't sound right to me.


That's not suprising. In real life, the drummer speeds up/slows down, you follow, it sounds OK, because it's a live environment. On the recording, that just sounds like people aren't in time with one another (because you're not - for a short period, unless you all speed up at the same time as the drummer, while increasing tempo identically), which sounds messy.

To fix this: tell your drummer to stop speeding up/slowing down if you're trying to record. If he can't do this, tell him to play to a metronome. On recordings, there's really no excuse for significant tempo variations, unless they're planned and part of the song, and there's definitely none for people playing out of time with one another.


If you mean 'instruments sound in the wrong place on the mix', i.e. the space they occupy in the sound seems unnatural, then unless you're recording multitrack there's not much you can do. If you're only using one or two microphones, it's quite difficult to move instruments around. If you've got one per instrument, then just experiment with panning until it sounds how you want it.
#5
our drummers good, he just likes to mess us up in the morning to wake us up. I figured out the problem...all of the high end on the guitar and keyboards was too high. I fixed this up today, and the drummer is on a platform now, which also helped the sound quite a bit. The Keyboard player was not present, but i'm sure we'll figure something out.
#6
Live sound is too big a topic to cover adequately in a forum but there are going to be three main issues, mixing, monitoring and volume wars.

The mix is a real problem if you don't have a sound engineer and sometimes even if you do. We have a live music show on TV here (Later with Jools Holland) where as a sound engineer I can hear the BBC technicians struggling to get the balance right. The bands sound tighter as the show goes on as a result of them solving essentially technical issues. As a bass player I know it only sounds really good when the level of the kick drum exactly matches my bass so the audience can't separate the two.

Monitoring means simply that you can all hear each other really well. If you fail to achieve this then your singer will be out of tune and you will all be fractionally out of time. If you are like us, and most bands, practice is in the round, amps face in across a circle and we all can see each other. On stage we stretch the amps out in a straight line and face the audience. This means the guitarist at one end can't hear the keys at the other and vice-versa. Decent monitors restore the balance so we can all hear.

Finally we all play much too loud on stage and at the 100-110dB levels we all play at our ears start to shut down to protect themselves from long term damage. This means we have trouble picking ourselves out of the mix and we turn up our amps to hear what we are playing. This stops the others hearing their amps so they turn up too until we are all at eleven. turn down and you'll hear more and play better, then turn the PA up and let the audience get the volume.

If you go to the columns I've written a guide to some of this. You might need to go to my profile to track them down but here is one of them http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_guide_to_pa__part_two_-_setting_up_and_soundchecking.html
#7
Hey, here is my band's setup, the top is a garage door, with some of that stuff with the pink panther on it. The bottom is the back of the garage with a normal size door. the left has a small computer room, and the right is just a wall with a window:
Attachments:
Band Setup1_1.gif
#8
I'm with Samzwadi, your band probably just isn't tight. Placing your gear in an arrangement where you can hear eachother better can help, but the other part is actually listening to eachother and figuring out what's wrong.

As for your drummer, just agree on a set tempo for the songs and stop wasting time.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
columbus day tomorrow, half day, and were all in marching band at around 5. well have from 1 to 4:30 to do stuff, so it should be quite productive. We've been getting alot tighter, and were trying songs with odd meters, like Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Testify," which is in a really tricky 7/8.
#10
I'm a strict believer that if you're not ready by gig day, you're not going to be ready by the gig. If you have a practice on the same day, you'll be really tired by the time the gig comes around too.

I recommend having a practice the night before, if you can at all. On the day, just rest and see how the gig goes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
no gig, im sorry to sound rude, I really don't, but where did you get the idea that we were gonna gig? Yeah, I'm just worrying about where to place everything, and I believe we are almost there.
#12


Setting up a little more evenly might help with make in the sound more balanced. just a suggestion. If your amp is behind the drums and you feel you need to turn up because you cant hear your self then you over power everything. But just a suggestion
#13
Quote by willwelsh816
no gig, im sorry to sound rude, I really don't, but where did you get the idea that we were gonna gig? Yeah, I'm just worrying about where to place everything, and I believe we are almost there.


Sorry, I thought that Columbus day had something to do with this topic. My bad
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
do you all wear ear plugs? you would be amazed at how much better you can hear everyone.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#15
Quote by the_perdestrian
do you all wear ear plugs? you would be amazed at how much better you can hear everyone.



yeah, that helps alot(we wear the landscaper type), but not when singing for some reason. I don't know how to quote multiples, but whoever posted a pic, it's not working???
#16
Quote by willwelsh816
yeah, that helps alot(we wear the landscaper type), but not when singing for some reason. I don't know how to quote multiples, but whoever posted a pic, it's not working???


How isn't it working? You can't hear eachother? Band still not tight?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
I know that I thought a band I was in was tight until I heard a recording.

If on the recording, you sound muddy and hard to hear everyone, then it can be improved by better mixing. But you complained that you heard everyone too clearly, which is not really a problem unless you are all off-time. In fact one of the main goals of mixing is to make everyone's sound more separated rather than one big sonic mess.
The recording doesn't lie, you all (or just some) just need to improve your timing. Play along to a metronome/drum track and the sloppy people will be easy to discern. Then practice with a drum track/metronome to improve.
#18
haha, this thread is a mess in terms of communication.

Heres something I think might contribute: High watt bass amps should be far away from the rest of the group, because the waves coming out of the amplifier are larger. So if you are closer to the amp, the "wavelengths" coming from the amp aren't as large as they could be. Or spread out. Or something. Im not exactly sure on the technicalities. But if you give it some distance, the sound will sound like it has fattened up and gotten bigger. I learned this from an old drum teacher of mine, and when my band tried it, it actually helped a lot! Except afterwords we had TOO much bass, haha....
Hope this helps.
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